By February many people have already broken their New Year’s resolutions, but even if you have had some mishaps, giving up smoking is vital to your lung health and lowering your risk of developing lung cancer. It’s never too late. Why not use February as a new start to accomplish what you couldn’t in January? If giving up tobacco is one of your goals for the year, know that it won’t be easy but don’t give up. Fifty million ex-smokers in the United States are proof that it can be done.
“More than 70% of smokers want to quit smoking and 40% will make an attempt this year, but only between 4% and 7% can quit without support,” according to Jennifer Folkenroth, national senior director of tobacco programs with the American Lung Association.
How to successfully quit smoking
“Smokers and tobacco users who want to quit should make a plan to be successful such as setting a quit date, understanding smoking triggers, talking to a doctor about quit smoking medications, and finding support through family, friends and cessation programs,” she suggested in a lung association news release.
The lung association offers several tips to help you stay on track:
Learn from your past experiences. If you’ve tried to stop smoking, chewing or vaping before, think through what helped you then and what you’ll do differently this time.
Don’t go it alone. Enrolling in a program such as the Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking Program can increase your chances of success by about 50%. Ask friends and family for additional support to help you.
Talk to your doctor. Ask about smoking cessation medications, which can double your chances of success. There are seven federally approved options. It’s important to follow directions and use the medications for the full length of the prescription.
Skip the substitutes. Quit, but don’t switch to e-cigarettes or other tobacco products. Quitting will mean ending your